Highland experts warn of ‘what not to buy’ on world anti-counterfeiting day and say your money for fake goods could be going towards paying for terrorism, serious crime, slavery and prostitution in the UK and around the world'
The Highland Council’s trading standards team is helping to promote World Anti-Counterfeiting Day on Thursday.
The event is now in its 21st year and was established by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group (GACG) Network and is also backed by the UK Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
The impact of counterfeiting and piracy is predicted to drain cash from the global economy and put jobs at risk.
Highland Council trading standards has organised a display at the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness as part of World Anti-Counterfeiting Day to illustrate examples of "what not to buy".
It will include fake designer brands including board games, candles, alcohol, tobacco and tweed.
Trading Standards professionals who will tell people about the dangers of counterfeit products.
Some of the items on display were seized during Operation Sapphire – a project which was run by the Scottish trading standards services to identify consumer protection crime on social media platforms and market places.
The project ran from April 2018 to March this year involved all Scottish local authorities.
Highland Council trading standards manager David MacKenzie said: “World Anti-Counterfeiting day is an excellent event for trading standards all over Scotland to highlight the excellent work being done to combat the ever-increasing selling of counterfeit goods and Highland is at the forefront of this work.
"The display at the Eastgate Shopping Centre will give Highland consumers the opportunity to come to see the range of ‘fake’ goods that are being sold in the Highlands and speak to our officers.”
He added: “Operation Sapphire has been very successful and has highlighted several traders in Highland who are being investigated further.
"Earlier this year Highland trading standards was granted a court order against a woman in Wick selling counterfeit goods and we will continue to deal robustly with any individual who is found to be selling counterfeit goods and cheating the Highland public.
“By buying fake goods your money could be going towards paying for terrorism, serious crime, slavery and prostitution in the UK and around the world.”
On Highland Council’s website there is an online form which members of the public can use to pass on information about fake goods – click here.
Consumers can also receive free and confidential advice if they have inadvertently bought goods which they think may be fake.
Consumeradvice.scot which is backed by the Scottish Government provides advice, assistance and information to people on a range of issues, including buying goods safely online.
Scottish consumers requiring advice and assistance on any consumer issue relating to goods and services can contact Consumeradvice.scot through a dedicated freephone number 0808 164 6000 or alternatively by email at firstname.lastname@example.org